For our last day, we went to Linea-Pelle to learn more about how leather was created. Linea-Pelle is similar to the Consortium because it serves as the main communication between designers or companies with tanneries by showing the tanneries’ various techniques and new innovations. They host the International Fair of Leather based on trends picked about six months before. Linea-Pelle prides itself with it tradition, quality, technology, design, and sustainability. It’s also the Italian Maker leader in the world. Their sustainability continues to increase, with a decrease in worker injury, an increase in animal welfare, water recovery, and ensures that 99% of their leather hide comes as a byproduct of the meat industry. Line-Pelle’s advancements will continue to make them a leader in the leather industry.
The future of technological advances has created a vast variety of different styles and variations of leather. I was blown away by the large number of different and unique techniques that create completely varied designs, patterns, and textures of leather. For example, certain techniques are responsible for a metallic coating on leather, Patton-leather, and even making leather flexible. These unique technologies are constantly evolving and advancing to make different and unique designs based on the trends and colors picked for the year. Without these technological advances in lasers and chemical sprays, the leather would not take on the varied styles and opportunities that it does now and will continue to as it evolves.
Advancements on artificial leather will probably not replace natural leather. The natural leather for different animals is so vastly different that it would take an extremely long time to perfect each type of leather, not even considering the various techniques that can be added to it. As new technologies are created for natural leather, synthetic leathers will also need to be designed and modified to satisfy the same result of the new technique. Because of this complex and precise measurement, I do not anticipate that there will be room to make such advancements in the foreseeable future. Even if the technology were a success for just one type of leather, we discovered that this process is not necessarily ecofriendly just because it uses organic materials like wine. The chemicals, machinery, and pollution that are anticipated to go into this process would not be considered sustainable. In order for a process to be considered sustainable, it must be able to reduce byproduct waste in its production. Currently, all synthetic leathers produce more byproducts than regular tanneries, while tanneries are continuing to recycle resources like water and limiting waste. Additionally, If technology could be perfected, it would be harmful for tanneries and companies like Linea-Pelle. However, I do not see this occurring in the near future due to the lack of eco-friendliness, uniqueness in natural leathers, and continuing technologies in the natural leather tanneries.
The service of Linea-Pelle is to serve as a central base for tanneries to gain clients and customers. In order to do this, companies must first pay Linea-Pelle to be part of the organization. Once apart of the organization, the basic supply chain occurs. Animal farms upstream suppliers, send the animal byproducts from the meat industry to tanneries. The tanneries then go through the process of taking the animal hide and turning it into leather. To begin, the the leather is salted and dried when it is removed from the animal. It is then treated chemically, and split based on how the fur will be used. Then, it goes through either vegetable or chromium tanning, where it is left in one of the two options for up to a month. After it is tanned, post-tanning occurs. During post-tanning, the leather is dyed, daliquored (to make it flexible and later repellant), and then finished with a variety of different spray, digital, or transfer methods. After the tannery creates samples of the various things that they can do, they would send Linea-Pelle samples of this leather that would be put in the International Fair of Leather, where designers and customers come and look at the desired leather. Linea-Pelle is able to connect customers/designers with the tanneries directly and then they are able to purchase the leather directly.